Burmese units of measurement

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The traditional Burmese units of measurement are still in everyday use in Burma. According to the CIA Factbook, Burma is one of three countries that have not adopted the International System of Units (SI) metric system as their official system of weights and measures.[1] However, in June 2011, the Burmese government's Ministry of Commerce began discussing proposals to reform the measurement system in Burma and adopt the metric system used by most of its trading partners,[2] and in October 2013, Dr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister for Commerce, announced that the country was preparing to adopt the metric system.[3]

Most of the nation uses Burmese units only, although Burmese government web pages in English use imperial and metric units. For instance, the Ministry of Construction uses miles to describe the length of roads[4] and square feet for the size of houses,[5] but square kilometres for the total land area of new town developments in Yangon City.[5] The Ministry of Agriculture uses acres for land areas.[6] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses kilometres (with mile equivalents in parentheses) to describe the dimensions of the country.[7]

Length[edit]

Table of length units
Unit Metric Imperial/US Ratio to
previous
Burmese Romanized
ဆံခြည် sanchi 79.375 µm 3⅛ thou/mil
နှမ်း hnan 0.79375 mm 31¼ thou/mil 10
မုယော mayaw 4.7625 mm 316 in 6
လက်သစ် let thit 1.905 cm ¾ in 4
မိုက် maik 15.24 cm 6 in 8
ထွာ htwa 22.86 cm 9 in 1.5
တောင် taung 45.72 cm ft; one cubit 2
လံ lan 1.8288 m 6 ft 4
တာ ta 3.2004 m 10½ ft 1.75
ဥသဘ out-thaba
(from Pali usaba)
64.008 m 70 yd 20
ကောသ kawtha
(from Pali kosa)
1.28016 km 0.795455 mi 20
ဂါဝုတ် ga-wout
(from Pali gavuta)
5.12064 km 3.18182 mi; about one league 4
ယူဇနာ yuzana
(from Pali yojana)
20.4826 km 12.7273 mi 4

Mass[edit]

Table of mass units
Unit Metric Imperial/US Ratio to
previous
Burmese Romanized
ရွေးလေး yway lay 136.078 mg 2.1 grain
ရွေးကြီး yway gyi 272.155 mg 4.2 grain 2
ပဲသား petha 1.02058 g 15.75 grain 3.75
မူးသား mutha 2.04117 g 31.5 grain 2
မတ်သား mattha 4.08233 g 63 grain 2
ငါးမူးသား nga mutha[N 1] 8.16466 g 0.288 oz 2
ကျပ်သား kyattha[N 2] 16.3293 g 0.576 oz 2
အဝက်သား awettha 204.117 g 7.2 oz 12.5
အစိတ်သား aseittha 408.233 g 14.4 oz 2
ငါးဆယ်သား ngase tha 816.466 g 1.8 lb 2
ပိဿာ peittha[N 3] 1.63293 kg 3.6 lb 2
အချိန်တစ်ရာ achein taya 163.293 kg 360 lb 100
  1. ^ Literally "five mutha", but in fact it is only four.
  2. ^ Traditionally known as a tical in English.
  3. ^ Traditionally known as a viss in English.

Volume[edit]

Table of volume units
Unit Metric Imperial US Ratio to
previous
Burmese Romanized
လမြူ la myu 79.9118 ml 21316 fl oz 2.70214 fl oz
လမျက် la myet 159.824 ml 5⅝ fl oz 5.40428 fl oz 2
လမယ် la me 319.647 ml 11¼ fl oz 10.8086 fl oz 2
စလယ် sa le 639.294 ml 1⅛ pints 1.35107 pints 2
ခွက် hkwet 1.27859 l 1⅛ qt 1.35107 qt 2
ပြည် pyi 2.55718 l 2¼ qt 2.70214 qt 2
စိတ် seit 10.2287 l gallons/
1⅛ pecks
2.70214 gallons/
1.16106 pecks
4
ခွဲ hkwe 20.4574 l 4½ gallons/
2¼ pecks
5.40428 gallons/
2.32213 pecks
2
တင်း tin 40.9148 l 9 gallons/
1⅛ bushels
10.8086 gallons/
1.16107 bushels
2

Money[edit]

Table of money units
Unit Equivalent to
Burmese Romanized
ပြား 1 pya  
မတ် 1 mat 25 pya
ငါးမူး 5 mu 2 mat
ကျပ် 1 kyat 10 mu

Adoption of SI (Metric) System[edit]

In October 2013, the Ministry of Commerce announced that Myanmar was preparing to adopt the International System of Units (SI System) as the country's official system of measurement.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World Factbook, Appendix G: Weights and Measures". Web Pages. Central Intelligence Agency. 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Ko Ko Gyi (July 18–24, 2011). "Ditch the viss, govt urges traders". Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Myanmar to adopt metric system". www.elevenmyanmar.com. Eleven Media Group. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Public Works, Fields Of Activities". Web Page. Ministry Of Construction. 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Housing Development". web page. Ministry Of Construction. 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ministry of Agriculture and Information". Web Page. Myanmar Agriculture. 2009–2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "About Myanmar : Geography". web page. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar. 2009. Archived from the original on 24 January 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2010.